MEQUON, Wis. Undersized Marian has struggled to a 4-17 record (3-11 in the NAC) so far this season, mainly due to a lack of inside presence to complement their excellent perimeter attack.
Sharp shooting Sarah Albert leads the Sabres in scoring at just over 12 points per game. Albert is dynamite from long range, having connected on 55 of 129 3-point attempts. She is also deadly at the free throw line (89%).
Rissa Cerveny is second in scoring at 11.6. She is also an excellent shooter and is tied with Albert for the team lead in rebounds with 111.
Marian is one of very few collegiate basketball teams to have employed the same starting five for all 21 games to date. Ashley Backes (10.6), Dani Huray (8.8), and Amelia Mirsberger (6.5) log most of the available Sabre minutes.
Marian averages 54.2 points per game while allowing just under 63. That differential is due mostly to a huge rebounding disparity. The Sabres gobble up just 29.8 boards on average while allowing close to 43.
Concordia Wisconsin has won 10 of their last 11 games, combining tenacious half court defense with improved perimeter shooting.
Junior Katie Luethe (Oshkosh, Wis.) has advanced her shooting touch significantly during the second half of the season and continues to lead the Falcons in scoring with a 13.5 average. Luethe can become CUW's 15th 1000 point scorer with a 13 point effort against Marian.
Junior Camille Parsons (9.2) missed the Rockford game with an injury, but hopes to see action against the Sabres.
Senior Brittany Zietlow (Oak Creek, Wis.) has been dishing out assists at an effective five per game pace and is scoring about eight points per outing.
Freshman Megan Coenen (7.7), senior Tiffany Hendrickson (7.2), freshman Allison Paluchniak (5.6), and junior Anna Butler (5.0) provide balance and depth to the offensive attack. The perimeter defensive skills of Butler, Zietlow, and Paluchniak have give opposing guards fits.
CUW is averaging just 62 points per contest, but frustrated opponents have managed only 53 while turning the ball over about 19 times per game.
KEYS TO THE GAME FOR CUW
1. Don't leave Albert- Marian likes to drive and kick the ball out to their sharpshooter.
2. Dominate the glass- The Sabres have won games where they stayed even on the boards.
3. Offensive movement- CUW will have a rare size advantage when the ball goes inside.